Celebratıng our Forests – 17 March

Our excursion in the forest above Kapedes on Sunday 17 March produced a broad and inspired exchange of ideas and contributions from many Strollers, in celebration of the International Day of Forests (on 21 March). It was particularly touching to hear the poem recited by 12 year old Samruddhi, in English as well as in Greek, wonderfully on target, given this year’s theme of ‘Forests and Education’

A forest is a place, where peace is found in the flowers.

Where violence is lost in the air.

Where love is found in the leaves.

Where hatred is lost in the roots.

A forest is a place where a soul can forget about the world, and live its life.

Compliments to Koula, Nana, Maria and Stathis for sharing their photos. Join us on 23 March at Cape Greco https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/cape-greco-konnos-bay-23-march/

 

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In the Vineyards of Paphos

Our walk of Saturday 9 March took us further from Nicosia than we usually go, to the hills above Panagia village, in Paphos, a car journey of two hours. And we were thoroughly rewarded, by a stroll in splendid weather, among acres of vineyards of Xynisteri and other Cypriot varieties of grapes; no wonder that this region produces some of the best wines in the country. We saw the vines being pruned, which is done nowadays with machines powered by compressed air. To get to them we had to slog and gasp up a trail as steep as a capital A. When we reached the peak, we found that the Prophet Elijah had got there a few thousand years before us, and someone had built a little church right at the top to remember him. Along the way, as usual, we passed the time by chatting in many languages – one could hear Greek, English, French, Arabic, Icelandic, Swedish, Hindustani.

The highlight of the day came as a surprise over lunch, in the tune of Á Sprengisandi, a song from Iceland, graciously sang by our members from Iceland. Here is part of the lyrics, in translation:

Let’s ride, ride, ride over the sand

the sun is setting behind Arnarfell,

around these parts there’s many an unclean spirit

because the shade is starting to fall on the glacier ice.

The Lord lead my steed,

the last leg of the journey will be difficult.

Let’s ride, ride, ride over the sand,

the darkness is falling on Herðubreið.

The Queen of Elves is harnessing her staff,

it’s not good to end up in her way.

I’d give my best horse in order to

arrive in Kiðagil.

Do you have a song to share? Bring it along next time and add to the unique cultural character of your favourite club. Compliments to Deborah and Jackie for leading this excursion, to Ian for contributing to this summary, and to Mangesh, Stathis and Koula for sharing their photos. Join us on 17 March to celebrate the International Day of Forests on Mahairas https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/kapedes-agios-onoufrios-17-march/

Streaming Delikipos – 3 March

Our hike of Sunday 3 March took us to the slopes of Delikipos. Ignoring alarming weather forecasts of thunderstorms and high winds, an impressively large group of Strollers were rewarded with a rain-free day out, and not a breath of wind, so we gradually discarded layers of insulation and waterproofing as we walked.

And what a walk it was! We wandered freely beneath the pine trees, keeping close to one of the many streams in the valley as it threaded its way through gorges, its gurgles harmonising with the croaking of frogs and the warbling of birds. Feeling sometimes like the first settlers of thousands of years ago, we picked our way among the first flowers of spring, scrambled up rocky slopes to commanding ridgeways, then down again to search for the easiest way to cross yet another stream. The only clues that we were not in the Stone Age were the fields of barley we passed and the plastic bottles. Ah yes, the litter. Tin cans, gun cartridges and bottles large and small, we collected as much as we could carry.

For much of the year the streams disappear, of course, but the magical valley is waiting for our return. Compliments to Ian for leading the excursion and writing this summary. Special mention must go to Sasha, who fearlessly got his own feet wet to create stepping stones and give a helping hand to everyone, to keep their feet dry crossing the eight or so streams we crossed: a true display of Strollership.Compliments also to Thalis, Maria, Daniela, Nicoletta, Jessica and Stathis for the photos. Join us on 9 March in Paphos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/panagia-9-march/

Sasha helping Anastasia